Washington, D.C., June 22, 2021 - Following the U.S. Department of Justice’s announced formation of five “cross-jurisdictional firearms trafficking strike forces,” Brady applauds the Biden Administration and Attorney General Merrick Garland for taking focused and actionable steps to reduce gun violence by addressing the flow of firearms into communities, rather than adopt harmful policing policies that have proven to traumatize and injure the communities most affected by gun violence. This supply-side approach to gun violence prevention will help to keep communities safe while stopping the trafficking of firearms from their source and compliments the Administration’s already proposed demand-side approach, such as the proposed $5 billion for community violence intervention programs included in the President’s American Jobs Plan.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“Today’s announcement by the DOJ is a welcome step towards preventing gun violence and addressing the surge in homicides and shootings that we have seen in many communities over the last year. Importantly, this solution answers the right question - how we can effectively prevent gun violence without policing or penalizing the communities most affected by this epidemic. Black and Brown communities continue to feel the effects of misguided and aggressive policing policies, while also bearing a disproportionate impact of gun violence. By taking a supply side approach and addressing gun trafficking, the DOJ will rightly help to prevent both of those harms. This action shows the important role that the DOJ and the federal government plays in preventing gun violence, including and especially the ATF. This action demonstrates why the Senate must confirm President Biden’s nominee to serve as ATF Director, David Chipman, without delay.”
Brady Legal Counsel and Combating Crime Guns Program Director Josh Scharff:
“A supply side approach to gun violence is a common-sense solution to stopping the flow of trafficked firearms into impacted communities. By focusing on the sources of trafficked firearms, we can look at how they came to be used in a crime and therefore how we can prevent this harmful trafficking that fuels deadly community and interpersonal violence. Evidence from individual communities and markets shows that a supply-side approach works. When communities reduce and address gun trafficking at its source, they reduce gun violence. That the Department of Justice, Attorney General Garland and President Biden have prioritized this approach is yet another example of their commitment to ending this epidemic with comprehensive solutions.”
Brady Senior Counsel and Director of Racial Justice Kelly Sampson shared:
“Too many communities, but especially Black and Brown communities, have borne policing initiatives that penalize, rather than protect, those most affected by our country’s endemic gun homicide. The Department of Justice has rightly identified an approach that not only seeks to avoid that pattern but also seeks to prevent gun violence before it starts. By stopping the trafficking of crime guns into communities most impacted by gun violence, the Biden Administration will stop those seeking to commit crime from obtaining the tools with which to harm their neighbors and communities. This common-sense violence reduction strategy is part of any comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy.”
About the Announced Initiative:
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the formation of five strike forces that will coordinate and work across jurisdictions to more effectively address gun trafficking. This effort will focus on five major trafficking corridors into New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
About Brady’s Supply Side Approach:
Most efforts to prevent gun violence focus on the perpetrators of violence with guns. These demand-side efforts, whether public policy, criminal justice reform, or social service programs, are necessary to save lives. But, alone, they are not sufficient to end America’s epidemic of gun violence, and the burden of ending gun violence should not rest solely on the communities most impacted.
A supply-side approach is focused on the supply of crime guns and encourages elected officials, community members, and law enforcement to address not just the shooter, but also the source or supplier of the gun.
By using a behavior change approach that holds gun dealers accountable, in addition to existing intervention and prevention efforts, local communities could experience a reduction in homicide and shooting rates in even the most impacted neighborhoods. In other words, a supply-side strategy is a critical aspect of a comprehensive public health approach to reducing gun violence.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.